The Revd Dr Susan J.Lucas has been licensed to serve as priest-in-charge of St Faith's during the next 18 months of the recently extended period of the Episcopal Visitation. She preached to us (as seen above) at the Candlemass High Mass of 2011, and the family of St Faith's look forward to meeting her and hearing from her very soon. She joins us officially on Tuesday, February 25th and will be moving into the vicarage with her family later that week.
Her first Sunday with us will be on March 2nd, which will be followed by a buffet lunch in the Church Hall at 1.45 pm, where she will be able to meet us. Below she introduces herself to us.
'Pax et bonum'
This is the way in which Franciscans greet one another. Roughly, it means, ‘peace and all good things.’ It seems appropriate as a way to introduce myself to the people of God at St Faith’s. First, because I have Franciscan connections: the ‘Frannies’ at the House of the Divine Compassion in Plaistow, one of the oldest Anglican Franciscan houses, have kept a weather eye on me for years, and the community there turned 100 in the year I was deaconed (2008). Second, because the three ‘notes’ of the Franciscan order, humility, simplicity and joy in the Gospel are, for me, a profound reflection on all our Christian callings as the priestly people of God; and, last but not least, it sums up my hopes and prayers for St Faith’s: peace, hope, and the love of God that overcomes all things.
What about me? Well, I grew up in Bolton, and went to university in London to read philosophy. After graduation, I lived in Wales for a while, doing a variety of things – eventually training as a teacher. I taught in schools in London, beginning in a comprehensive in Bermondsey in South East London, then moving to Francis Holland School Graham Terrace. Canon Francis Holland was a 19th century clergyman and eventual Queen’s Chaplain who also believed in women’s education, so ‘FHS’ was founded for the education of clergy daughters –though there were only a few in the school by the time I arrived in 1994! Our very near neighbour – just across the road – was the great St Mary’s, Bourne Street, and in fact half my job was as liturgist, working with the clergy there to put together our school worship. I completed an MPhil and later PhD on Wittgenstein part time whilst working.
Since 1996, I have been married to Tony, who has spent most of his career as a professional timpanist and percussionist in London. In 2003, we moved to Liverpool as he and a colleague started JAM Percussion, based in Garston and still going strong (he has joked that as my commute to work gets shorter and shorter, his gets longer and longer!) Some of you might know Tony by sight as he is timpanist in the Crosby Symphony Orchestra. He is joined in CSO by our son Joe, 14, who plays viola (amongst other things!) Joe is at Merchant Taylors’ and is chuffed to bits about being able to walk to school for the first time ever.
In Liverpool, I was Head of Religious Studies at Calderstones School in the south of the city, and for three years I was Chief Examiner for a GCSE qualification in RS. I was initially ordained as an NSM, serving my title at St Margaret, Anfield. It quickly became clear to me, however, that my heart and my calling is full time parish ministry, so I moved to the Walton Team in 2012.
So here I am, your parish priest – albeit in slightly unusual circumstances; and to be a parish priest is for me, a calling, a privilege and a huge source of joy. None of us knows what the future holds; I am starting this journey with you though in hope, in joy, and in commitment to serve all God’s people in this place.
Following the resignation of our two Churchwardens, the sidespersons' Sunday rota will continue as normal. We will appoint new wardens (with an election if more than two candidates come forward) at the APM (Vestry Meeting) in the normal course of events. In the meantime, pray for discernment that people will be willing to offer to serve in this demanding role. If you have any questions, please speak to the Deputy Wardens, Brenda or Christine.